Street Photography Greats. Rennie Ellis

Photographer Rennie Ellis holding his camera

RENNIE ELLIS (11 November 1940 – 19 August 2003)

Rennie Ellis was an Australian trend setter in the world of photography, and an agent for Black Star Photos. He was the first to create a fully time Photographic Gallery in Australia and was one of the countries most renowned street Photographers, so why haven’t you heard of him? Well you have. Through his photos.


Rennie was born and lived his life in Melbourne, but he started his first big assignment in Sydney, with Kings Cross Sydney, in 1971. It was one of 17 books he would have published.


Although many of the Kings Cross work and street work was black and white, he was an accomplished worker in Colour. He photographed the seedier side of Australia well and was someone who captured the wild side of the country when he could.


His work lives on through exhibitions his wife still runs around the world. Although he did take many a photo of the stars of the day, if you want to learn about the use of colour in photography, Rennie is your man.




Camera: Pentax and Nikon 35mm

Where they worked: Australia, Melbourne and Sydney

Strengths: He documented the times he lived in very well and was very strong when he used colour.

Weaknesses: If he had one it was composition at times, and the fact he didn’t focus on his strength, colour, enough.

Quote: “Sitting in Barollo Bistro, South Yarra. Attention taken by the exit of an unsubtle lady. Intuition encourages me to follow her. She engages the Dino Ferrari. The wind blows. Snap!”



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